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rolls of honour
Rolls of honour - were set up early in the war in public places as an affirmation of the huge response to the call for volunteers from that locality. They were immensely popular in 1914 and 1915. Many newspapers published weekly lists and notices placed in windows of individual houses indicating that a man from the household was on active service became widespread. These were not spontaneous activities of popular imagination but part of the recruiting campaigns of 1914 and 1915.

In September 1914, for example, Walter Long MP and Wiltshire landowner, held a public meeting in the village of West Ashton at which he exhorted local men to join up rather than ‘live at home in ease, a craven at heart’. He told the men that ‘here in this village, and in other villages where I have some influence I mean to have a great placard headed the roll of honour. On that will be inscribed the names of any man who joins the Colour; a copy of it will be sent to every house or cottage in which he has dwelt, and where his family are, and a permanent copy will be given to his family to keep as a lasting record of the fact that he did his duty’.


The 'cross' at Knowlton today   inscription

The County of Bute Roll of Honour published early in 1915 said: Some day you will want to share in the joy and honour of victory. You don’t want to be left out at the end; you can only avoid that by being in it now.
Permanent memorials in stone were also conceived early in the war not as memorials to aid the bereaved to come to terms with the dead but as aids to recruitment. Crosses were awarded as prizes to communities who had the highest proportion in their county of eligible men enlisted. Stone 'crosses' were awarded to the villages of Knowlton, Kent, Dalderby, Lincolnshire, and Barrow-on-Trent, Derbyshire.
Knowlton, for example, was judged the Bravest Village in England in a competition organised by the local Weekly Despatch in 1914 for sending the biggest percentage of its population to the army. 12 men joined up out of a total population of only 39.

Death gradually began to intrude on the recruiting process.


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THIS CROSS WAS ERECTED IN HONOUR OF THOSE TWELVE MEN OF KNOWLTON WHO OUT OF A TOTAL POPULATION OF THIRTY NINE ENLISTED PRIOR TO MARCH 1915 AND BY THEIR PATRIOTIC ACTION WON THE WEEKLY DISPATCH BRAVEST VILLAGE COMPETITION.